LITTLE ROCK — By mid-afternoon Monday about 4,000 people had electronically signed a petition on the White House’s website seeking permission for Arkansas to withdraw from United States and form its own government.
Petitions for the secession of at least 21 states have been submitted to the Obama administration since Wednesday, the day after President Obama’s re-election to a second term, according to the White House. The administration says it will review and respond to any petition that receives 25,000 signatures within one month.
The petition for Arkansas’ secession was created Saturday by “Jesse W.,” with no address or home town listed. Of the signatures on the petition that have home towns listed, most are from outside of Arkansas. The signers are identified on the website by first name and last initial only.
The petition includes a quote from the Declaration of Independence but offers no other justification for secession.
Other petitions seek permission for the withdrawal of Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas.
The right to petition the government is guaranteed under the First Amendment. Among the other petitions that can be viewed on the White House’s website are ones seeking to end drone strikes, recount the presidential election, outlaw offending the prophets of major religions and “send the president to meet a dying 8-year-old in St. Louis.”
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